A candid look at the inherent problems with young, privileged Americans drawn to social entrepreneurship who see the “exotic problems” of those in a foreign land as easily solvable and the dangers of their failed and misguided attempts…“Let’s pretend, for a moment, that you are a 22-year-old college student in Kampala, Uganda. You’re sitting in class and discreetly scrolling through Facebook on your phone. You see that there has been another mass shooting in America, this time in a place called San Bernardino. You’ve never heard of it. You’ve never been to America. But you’ve certainly heard a lot about gun violence in the U.S. It seems like a new mass shooting happens every week. You wonder if you could go there and get stricter gun legislation passed. You’d be a hero to the American people, a problem-solver, a lifesaver. How hard could it be? Maybe there’s a fellowship for high-minded people like you to go to America after college and train as social entrepreneurs. You could start the nonprofit organization that ends mass shootings, maybe even win a humanitarian award by the time you are 30.Sound hopelessly naïve? Maybe even a little deluded? It is. And yet, it’s not much different from how too many Americans think about social change in the “Global South.””


How the rise of income segregation effects children by creating highly segregated schools… “Advocates of integrated schools — which researchers believe provide greater benefits for poorer and minority students — often argue that we should use housing policy to address deeply entrenched educational inequalities. Build more affordable housing in good school districts, or simply break down exclusionary housing policies there, and we’d create more integrated schools.”


As a response to Hollywood casting white actors in adaptations of Asian comics and books, William Yu started the twitter handle and hashtag #StarringJohnCho and replaced the lead actor in blockbuster Hollywood movie posters with actor, John Cho…“I’m tired of hearing from people that they can’t ‘see’ an Asian American actor playing the romantic lead or the hero, so I created #StarringJohnCho to literally show you,” he said. Reactions on social media have been favourable – many tweeting that they would actually see some of these films if John Cho was actually in them.”


An interesting discussion among feminist scholars about the whether or not to praise or condemn the singer’s visual album….“If a pop culture icon flaunts her beauty and sexuality, does that make her an empowered feminist — or an unwitting agent of the patriarchy?”…Hooks –  an eminent scholar who once declared Beyoncé a “terrorist” after she posed in lingerie on the cover of Time — published a nuanced essay Monday that found some reasons to praise the star singer’s latest effort: “It is the broad scope of Lemonade’s visual landscape that makes it so distinctive — the construction of a powerfully symbolic black female sisterhood that resists invisibility, that refuses to be silent,” hooks wrote. “This in and of itself is no small feat — it shifts the gaze of white mainstream culture. It challenges us all to look anew, to radically revision how we see the black female body.” Yet it wasn’t exactly a rave review. Hooks also noted the “utterly aestheticized” presentation of the female form in Beyoncé’s project, and questioned whether the album does anything to resolve the challenges faced by black women: “Simply showcasing beautiful black bodies does not create a just culture of optimal well being where black females can become fully self-actualized and be truly respected,” Hooks wrote.


Body Positivity Week at Buzzfeed.com. Yes, please.


For all you wordsmiths and logophiles, an international glossary of words with no translation to describe your unexpressed feelings…“Last summer, Tim Lomas flew from London to Orlando to attend the fourth annual congress of the International Positive Psychology Association—held, naturally, at Walt Disney World. As Lomas wandered around the event, popping in and out of various sessions, he stumbled upon a presentation by Emilia Lahti, a doctoral student at Aalto University, in Helsinki. Lahti was giving a talk on sisu, a Finnish word for the psychological strength that allows a person to overcome extraordinary challenges. Sisu is similar to what an American might call perseverance, or the trendier concept of grit, but it has no real equivalent in English. It connotes both determination and bravery, a willingness to act even when the reward seems out of reach. Lomas had never heard the word before, and he listened with fascination as Lahti discussed it. “She suggested that this has been really valued and valorized by the Finns, and it was an important part of their culture,” he told me. At the same time, Lomas said, Lahti framed sisu as “a universal human capacity—it just so happened that the Finns had noticed it and coined a word for it.” The conference ended the next day, but Lomas kept thinking about sisu. There must be other expressions like it, he thought—words in foreign languages that described positive traits, feelings, experiences, and states of being that had no direct counterparts in English. Wouldn’t it be fascinating, he wondered, to gather all these in one place?”


The conflict between wanting to invoke your inner Gandhi and the realities of dealing with potty training…“It always catches me off-guard how quickly I go from zero to pissed off over seemingly minor infractions. It’s just that when I am in a state of perpetual exhaustion, small things are actually really big things. I don’t want to get mad at my child for splashing toothpaste water all over the bathroom mirror for the hundredth time after I reminded him repeatedly not to. I want to channel my inner Gandhi and remain calm. The problem is, I literally just finished cleaning up a mess in the other room, I am 12 hours into my day, and a toddler is clinging to my leg. I’m fresh out of calm. Did Gandhi ever have to potty train another human being? I would guess no, which explains his level of Zen.”

Found on Kendll-Jackson blog


Get your picnic baskets ready for some outdoor theatre. With this year marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, be sure to catch plenty of Shakespeare starting with Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum lineup Romeo and Juliet set in East Jerusalem will kick off its 2016 summer repertory season. Mark your calendars for the FREE Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival starting June 25 with Richard III. Also for LA theatre, check out Gruesome Playground Injuries  at the Hudson Backstage in Hollywood, “pitch-black” comedy Dinner At Home Between Deaths at the Odyssey and be on the lookout for Eugene O’Neill’s Hairy Ape opening May 14 at the Odyssey and not to be missed, Lee Blessing’s A Walk In The Woods at International City Theatre. Also, look for the Mini-Australian Theatre Fest this June at the Matrix Theatre. For a dose of fictional history rooted in the hostile politics of the 1960s, Home Sick will premiere at the Odyssey Theatre June 9 – July 3. Interested in dance? Watch for  Royal Swedish Ballet’s return to Segerstrom Center for the Arts with the West Coast Premiere of Mats Ek’s Juliet and Romeo June 10 -12. For outdoor activities check out the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard May 21 & 22. For something different, check out Alton Brown at Segerstrom Center for the Arts for his new national tour Eat Your Science.

NYC theatre-lovers be on the look out for Fountain Theatre’s Citizen: An American Lyric to get its off-Broadway production at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Catch some fun new musicals like Tuck Everlasting or Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour on Broadway. And be sure to check out the Hallett Nature Sanctuary – four acres in Central Park – reopening after a massive restoration project. The section has been closed since the 1930s. Definitely mark your calendars for the 54th Annual Shakespeare in the Park festival at Central Park starting May 24th with The Taming of the Shrew.